Archive - Feb 2009 - Story

February 11th

Unfortunate English place names

Bart Simpson would have a field day if he visited England with some of its "unfortunate" place names such as Pratts Bottom, a village in Kent, or Crapstone in Devon. Hazel Thompson of the New York Times looks at some historic names which might bring a snicker.

DNA study captures Viking "snapshot" of 1000 years ago

The results of the "largest study of ancient DNA from a single population ever undertaken" are in: Iceland was settled by men from Scandinavia and women from the coasts of Scotland and Ireland.

February 10th

Ealdormere Fall Coronation 2008 photos online

Eirik Andersen has posted an album of photos from the Fall 2008 Coronation in the Kingdom of Ealdormere on the Two Ravens website.

Chocolate dated to 1000 CE in North America

Chocolate was drunk in North America as early as 1000 C.E., according to an article posted at LiveScience magazine online. The article describes cacoa residue found inside carved cylinder tubes in northern New Mexico.

Valentine's Day history still a mystery

Every year historians debate the "real" history of Valentine's Day, and still there seems to be no consensus on its true origins. Now student Sarah Clark gives it a try.

February 9th

Bad eyesight may have affected Galileo's findings

A joint Italian and British project to test the DNA of the exhumed body of Renaissance scientist Galileo may lead to interesting findings, including the theory that vision problems affected the astronomer's work.

Citizen strives to save Beijing artifacts

Many of China's historic buildings have been torn down, and others are scheduled for demolition, in an effort to provide room for a growing economy. Some citizens, like hospice administrator Li Songtang, are trying to save what little is left.

Learn blacksmithing skills and more at The Crucible

The Crucible is a non-profit arts education organization in Oakland, California. From this web site you can learn many of the skills used in ancient arts and crafts, like blacksmithing, glass working, metalsmithing, foundry, and jewelry making.

February 8th

Roman mosaic found in Cotswold field

Paul Ballinger and John Carter didn't find anything with their metal detector recently, but noticed tiles in a plowed field. After some searching, they uncovered a 40-foot (12 meter) diameter mosaic floor dating to 4th century Roman times. (photo)

"Murder" at the re-enactment

A fall 2008 Civil War re-enactment in Virginia went terribly wrong when a Yankee cavalryman from New York was shot and wounded by a .44-caliber ball from an 1860 Army Colt pistol.

Gardening at the Cloisters

The Cloisters, the medieval museum in New York City, provides a blog discussing issues pertaining to medieval gardens including such topics at topiary, herbs, seasonal plants, and gardening techniques.

February 7th

Photos from Eastrealm's 12th Night online

Liam St. Liam has created an album of photos from the recent 12th Night celebration in the Kingdom of the East and has posted them on his Flickr website.

"Sailing the Western Sea" theme of Penn State's Medieval Conference

The twenty-first Medieval Studies conference at Penn State University will take on the all things nautical with Sailing the Western Sea: The Atlantic Ocean in Medieval Perspective. The conference will take place March 29 in State College, Pennsylvania.

Four elevated at Atlantia Kingdom 12th Night

Baron Michael Batcok, Albatross Herald of the Kingdom of Atlantia, reports that four Kingdom citizens were elevated by Their Majesties at the January 10, 2009 Kingdom 12th Night event.

February 6th

Medieval Dress & Textile Society to offer conference on Henry VIII

The spring 2009 conference of the Medieval Dress & Textile Society will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the accession of Henry VIII to the English throne. The conference will take place in London May 2, 2009.

Early musical instruments demonstrated on YouTube

Walraven reports that a video demonstrating various early musical instruments is available to view on YouTube.

Pictures of Nordskogen's Twelfth Night

Elashava bas Riva has posted her photos from the recent Nordskogen 12th Night celebration which took place in the Kingdom of Northshield. Several gentles were also elevated - or offered elevation - at the event.

Vilhelm Silverhammer joins Order of the Pelican

Lord Alan reports that Vilhelm Silverhammer has been elevated to the Order of the Pelican by Their Majesties of the Kingdom of Artemisia.

February 5th

Drachenwald's 12th Night photos online

Arianwen ferch Arthur has posted two slideshows with photos from the recent 12th Night in the Kingdom of Drachenwald on her photobucket website.

Chocolate residue found in ancient pottery remains

Residue from a chemical only known in chocolate has been found on pottery shards dating back to between 1400 to 900 BC in Central America, according to an article at LiveScience magazine online.

William Blackfox Website Awards announced

Don Thomas Dudley, Society Webminister, has announced the winners of the William Blackfox Awards for Webminsters for A.S. 43.

February 4th

Italian astronomers to re-create Galileo's telescope

For the 400th anniversary of Galileo's creation of his telescope, a group of Italian scientists will recreate "the kind of telescope and conditions that led to Galileo’s world-changing observations."

Secret letters of Mary, Queen of Scots to be available online

Two dozen letters, written in a secret code by Mary, Queen of Scots, will soon be available online to visitors of the Scottish Catholic Archives website.

Building a wagon for SCA use

On his blog, McKennawerks, McKenna discusses building a simple, period wagon for SCA use.

February 3rd

Bookworms damage books in Knights of Malta archives

Bookworms and crude repairs have wrought destruction on the priceless parchment books in the archives of the Malta Study Center at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library. American Public Radio's Speaking of Faith has the 14-minute, online story.

Jean I: Rightful King of France

In a strange footnote to the Hundred Years' War, a Sienese merchant named Giannino di Guccio came to believe that he was actually King Jean I of France. A new book, translated from Italian, he Man Who Believed He Was King of France by Tommaso di Carpegna Falconieri, tells the story.

Lion and Lily concert clips on YouTube

Galeran Chanterel reports that video clips from the performance of Lion and Lily at Atlantian Twelfth Night are now available on YouTube.

February 2nd

Light show marks 800th anniversary of Cambridge University

The home to "some of the most significant scientific breakthroughs in history - including the splitting of the atom and the discovery of the structure of DNA," Cambridge University in England celebrates its 800th anniversary with worldwide events and an "exuberant" atmosphere.

Animal bones used in construction of Spanish walls

Archaeologists studying the chemistry of 14th century Moorish architecture have found that burnt animal bones were mixed with other materials to create a protective covering for walls. Analysis of the walls, coupled with the discovery of a 14th century brick oven, have led to the conclusion.

February 1st

Experts theorize Tycho Brahe may have been murdered

For centuries experts believed that Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe died from a "twisted" bladder, but recent studies have shown a high concentration of mercury in the astronomer's hair, leading to the theory that Brahe was murdered. Now a "group of conservators, chemists and physicians" wants to open the grave and find out the truth: was Tycho Brahe murdered, and "who done it?"